OVERSEAS MISSION RELATIONSHIPS
The Methodist Church of New Zealand has two primary partner church relationships:
- The United Church of the Solomon Islands
- The United Church of Papua New Guinea.
Both are relationships of many years standing.
Project based funding
In 2002 we moved away from 'block grants' to 'project based funding'. This shift makes mutual accountability an essential part of the relationship between the churches. It assists capacity building by the receiving church as the funding church works to help the other towards greater self-reliance. When done well project-based funding creates greater understanding and builds the partnership between the churches.
Providing scholarships helps to build the human skill base of the local church. We have assisted with theological and medical training for our partner churches
Mission and Ecumenical has entered into an ongoing commitment to pay the salary of the Chief Nursing officer at Helena Goldie Hospital, run by the Solomon Islands church in Munda. The CNO was formerly on a scholarship to gain a nursing degree in New Zealand. He now brings a whole new range of skills to the hospital and so for the benefit of the patients.
These provide the opportunity for individuals, church groups, and parishes to support particular needs. The 2002 appeal was for the purchase of 50 quality mattresses for Helena Goldie Hospital. The 2003 project was for funds to enable the Rarongo Theological College in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea to purchase new books for its library.
Building church to church relationships
It is important that we build interpersonal relationships with our partner churches. So Mission and Ecumenical brought the Moderator of the United Church of the Solomon Islands, Philemon Riti and his wife Nancy, to New Zealand in November 2003. Together we reflected on several issues: how we develop the future relationship of our two churches; clarifying the areas we will work on together; reviewing our learnings from the past; identifying new ways we can work together; seeing how we can focus on mutual mission; considering how we can receive and not just give to the Church of the Solomon Islands. The Moderator of the United Church of Papua New Guinea, Samson Lowa and his wife Jessie will visit in November 2004.
Visit to Mission Stations in Solomon Islands 2019
Goldie College - Students gathered int he chapel
Director Mission and Ecumenical commissioned the Solar Power Unit
Computer Lab control station
Students using the computer lab
We arrived at Goldie College shortly after noon. The principal met us at the jetty and guided us to the chapel in the heavy tropical downpour. A warm welcome with garlands was extended to us at the chapel where the students and staff have gathered.
Speeches made by the head girl and the principal were highly appreciative of the contribution towards the solar power unit. After the speeches I was called to address the college community. I assured our partnership in mission and challenged the students to grow up to be leaders committed to justice and wellbeing of the people of Solomon Islands.
The total cost was SBD 360,000. The college raised SBD 130,000 and an Australian organisation donated SBD 70,000. The balance of SBD 160,000 was from M&E. this enabled the installation of the solar power unit to run the computer lab to its fullest capacity with 32 work stations. Power is now sufficient to install another 32 work stations upstairs in the same building with one large server.
After the assembly in the chapel we were led to the computer lab to ceremonially commission the solar power unit. I was asked to cut the ribbon and turn on switch to run the computers. 32 of the students were sitting to demonstrate the use of the facility soon after I turned the power on. It was a glorious scene with joyful faces doing their study and research with the help of internet in the school. The computer education tutor Layson said that it is the first of its kind in Solomon Islands to have a computer lab of the kind.
After our time and celebration at the computer lab, we gathered for lunch with the staff. After lunch the principal asked me to address the staff. Thereafter the principal wished us well with the rest of our visit to Solomon Islands and accompanied us to the jetty.
As we began our return journey, heavy rain fell on us as the boat took the journey through the lagoon. We arrived in Munda safely.
After refreshing ourselves, we were engaged in a conversation about or observations and engagements with the staff of the two institutes. It was a focus on what had been done and what more can we do to help build the future for the young students of Goldie College and the Tabaka Rural Technical Institute.
Lara, the housekeeper cooked dinner for us at Robina House. We were confined to the house as heavy rain fell in Munda.